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Tulane Emergency Medical Services (Tulane EMS)

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Tulane Emergency Medical Services is a student-run, Basic Life Support (BLS) emergency medical service, based on the uptown campus of Tulane University and managed by Campus Health. Tulane EMS offers emergency medical services and first-aid treatment for minor injuries to students, faculty, staff, and visitors during hours of operation within its service area. Tulane EMS provides transport to New Orleans area hospitals depending upon the nature of the call and the status of the patient at the time of Tulane EMS arrival.

As a service located in Orleans Parish, Tulane EMS is fully compliant with the Region 1 Protocols for all EMS services operating in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes. Tulane EMS protocols are updated annually to stay in line with the Region 1 Protocols. For certain severe emergencies both on and surrounding campus, Tulane EMS will activate New Orleans EMS (NOEMS), which provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) Services. In this way, patients receive the best medical care possible—with the prompt, professional and courteous attention of Tulane EMS, backed up by the years of experience, resources, and advanced level of care provided by New Orleans EMS when necessary.

Tulane EMS is dispatched by the Tulane University Police Department: 504-865-5911 (emergency). This number is also on the back of all student Splash Cards.

Learn how to call a Tulane EMS ambulance.

Membership

Tulane EMS members are trained and certified Basic Emergency Medical Technicians or Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, operating under the medical direction of the Health Center and deputy Tulane EMS Manager, Heather Scianneaux (ALS Paramedic). Learn more about member recruitment and training via the links below.

Organizational Goals

  • To provide leadership and EMS training and experience to Tulane students.
  • To provide pre-hospital emergency care to all persons in need within the Tulane and Uptown community.
  • To provide pre-hospital emergency care in a timely and professional manner.
  • To provide this care according to the policies set forth by the Region 1 Protocols for all EMS services operating in Orleans Parish.

Fleet

Tulane EMS currently operates two Type III ambulances. During service hours, Tulane EMS is staffed to operate one ambulance at a time. During certain high-volume periods, Tulane EMS will staff two ambulances. In the event that the on-duty unit is predisposed with another call, NOEMS may be dispatched to address additional calls.

History

Tulane EMS was founded in 1981 by a group of students who wanted to provide the community with free emergency medical care. The organization was formed when a few students trained as Emergency Medical Technicians used a converted plumber's van, Unit 10, to respond to campus medical emergencies. 

Since 1981, the organization has grown to more than 70 members. Tulane EMS purchased its first ambulance, Unit 20, in 1985. In 1999, Tulane purchased a second ambulance, allowing Tulane EMS to run standby operations for University events. Currently Tulane EMS operates two ambulances, Units 60 and 70. New ambulances are on the way for the Spring 2023 Semester! Tulane EMS also takes the backup unit to local schools, showing children the inner workings of an emergency vehicle. 

Since its inception, Tulane EMS members have responded to thousands of calls for service. Tulane EMS has become an integral part of the university and city’s Emergency Response system. Tulane EMS played a pivotal role during the disaster response after Hurricane Katrina and has been applauded by local and national organizations and agencies. In March 2022, Tulane EMS members responded to the disaster site following the tornado in New Orleans East, continuing Tulane EMS's record of disaster response. Tulane EMS members contribute thousands of volunteer hours annually to staff the ambulances, and many members hold other healthcare jobs within the New Orleans community.

Relationship to Campus Health and Funding

Tulane EMS, as part of Tulane Campus Health, is first, and foremost, a service organization. All members volunteer their services and are expected to contribute no fewer than four active semesters to Tulane EMS. Over the years, the members of Tulane EMS have grown to be an integral part of the Tulane and New Orleans communities.

Tulane Campus Health provides medical direction, financial oversight, and administrative assistance for issues including, but not limited to training, licensure, and healthcare legal compliance.

Student fees cover the cost of Tulane EMS operations and services. Callers are not billed for using Tulane EMS; however, they are liable for the costs of services rendered by other medical professionals, facilities or organizations (New Orleans EMS, emergency room, hospital, doctor fees, etc.) as these are not covered by student fees.

Tulane EMS saves the Tulane community approximately $250,000 in ambulance fees per academic semester.